Saturday, September 26, 2009

Local Food: Fall is officially here and Steven is highlighting the flavors of pumpkin and maple on the menu. What could be better than maple crème brûlée with Riverside Farm pumpkin? Roasted Pumpkins also accompany the grilled trout from Mountain Foot Farm. And it's not fall without pumpkin soup, this time with a twist of curry.

Make a reservation for dinner this Thursday, October 1st and help support NOFA's Share the Harvest, a fundraiser for limited income Vermonters. Learn more at NOFA.

Around the Galaxy: Perennial favorite Archer Mayor returns to The Galaxy Bookshop Tuesday at 7PM to celebrate the publication of his latest Joe Gunther novel, The Price of Malice. All are welcome and the event at Galaxy is free. After the reading he'll dine at Claire's with a lucky contest winner who has bought the book in advance.

Local Music: Jeremy Raboin stops in Thursday night to serenade us with his guitar work and vocals.

Local Art: Look for new art on our walls. The abstract work of Cheryl Betz will be on display beginning Tuesday, with a reception Monday, October 4th from 4-6.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Local Food: Steven brings back his famously spicy gingerbread cake, baked with maple syrup and molasses, served with caramel apples, Strafford vanilla ice-cream, and maple fluff.

The Burlington Free Press executive editor wrote about his recent visit to the Hardwick area and to Claire's as part of his own localvore challenge. You can read his diary entry from Saturday, September 5 at Townsend Takes Eat Local Challenge. He was a little early for the gingerbread.

Around the Galaxy: Charles Sabukewicz brings poetry inspired by 22 summers spent at Coles Pond to The Galaxy Bookshop on Tuesday at 7:00. He will read from his recent chapbook Rowing in Twilight. And get ready for Archer Mayor on the 29th - pre-buy the book at Galaxy and be entered in a drawing for dinner with Archer at Claire's!

Local Events: This week, the Jeudevine Library hosts a special sneak peak at the new Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. The Sunday night screening is followed by a discussion.

The Highland Lodge hosts a Wallace Stegner Centennial all weekend beginning on Friday. The schedule is available at

And don't forget the Montpelier Art Walk, showcasing local artists, this Friday from 4-8 pm. More information is available here.

Music Notes: Country outlaws Rachael Rice and the Cosmic Americans return this Thursday at 7:30. Enjoy her transformative sensibility and a unique blend of rockabilly, country, and Americana. For more information, visit

New on Main Street: Our sign! Come by and take a look.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Local Food Coming in from the Cold: With the cooler and shorter days of fall in the air, we'll be harvesting all the different basils, sorrel, thyme, sage, parsley, and cilantro from Steven's kitchen garden. Look for pestos, sauces, herbaceous braises and fragrant pastas on the menu, as well as some of our stunning cocktails from the bar. Steven is also drying cayenne and jalapeño peppers from Pete's Greens, strung on ristras in the cabinet above the kitchen.

Around the Galaxy: No event this week,but get ready for Archer Mayor's visit on the 29th. Each year, when Archer visits Hardwick, we usually get together for dinner before or after the book signing. This year, we would like to invite one of our customers to join us: every customer who pre-orders a copy of The Price of Malice, online or at the store, will be entered in a drawing to win dinner at Claire's with Archer. Details at

Music Notes: Thursday at 7:30, Jay Ekis brings back his world-influenced music, ranging from the dark and melodic to the optimistic. If you haven't had an opportunity to see Jay perform, you can check out his music at

Local Events: Sunday and Monday, our cocktail, beer, and wine specials continue into the Fall. Come in and enjoy your favorite drink and watch the game.

After School: We open daily at 2:30, except Wednesdays, for sweets, coffee, sodas and bar service. Stop in to visit with friends, have a meeting, access our free wifi to do your homework or catch up with the world's news or sports on our flatscreen.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happening at Claire's and around Hardwick

Local Food: Sunflowers and sunchokes signal the cool and short days of late summer, an earthly mirror reflecting the sun just as the first maple leaves begin to turn to deeper reds and golds. Imagine our surprise to find that Harvest Hill Farm has a crop of later summer artichokes ready to harvest. Different from their more familiar rooted cousins-in-flavor, these artichokes are deep green edible blooms prized for their fleshy petals and well-protected hearts. Steven serves them as an edible bowl, stuffed with Chèvre from Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, Bayley Hazen Blue and Constant Bliss, and Grafton Cheddar, baked with a crispy topping. Pluck a leaf and use it to scoop up the sharp and nutty fondue.

Thursday Music: Radio Rangers founder and frontman Mark Struhsacker is back to entertain us with traditional bluegrass and fiddle tunes.